By John Moore
Lucha Underground TV
Taped April 2016 in Los Angeles, California
In this week’s intro video, it focused on Angelico getting beat up and returning. EL Texano Jr vs. Cage in what I think is the battle for MVP’s soul was featured. Ivelisse was brought up in reference to her relationship with Jeremiah Crane who has feelings for Catrina based on growing up together. This will lead to Jeremiah Crane (Sami Callahan) vs. Mil Muertes. Prince Puma losing to Mil Muertes was also shown leading to Zombie Vampiro resurrecting him. This week’s episode was called, “The Gauntlet”…
Prince Puma was kneeling down in Vampiro’s Dojo (which was a weird sex dungeon last season with ropes, wax, and stuff). Vampiro said “Rise… My son”. Puma rose. Zombie Vampiro said that Puma’s journey into darkness begins tonight as Vampiro made weird jittering facials. Puma said he was ready. Vampiro told Puma to pledge himself to him. Puma did his signature flip kick as he said “I do… master…”
John’s Thoughts: Okay, I’m not going to give spoilers, I never do, but this storyline is one that I’ve been looking forward to the entire season. I’m not sure if it’s a good one, we never got to see the cinematics, but I’m hopeful that this might be fun…
Matt Striker and Vampiro checked in on commentary from the Temple as Metalachi performed their rendition of La Bamba. Vampiro called Striker his homeboy. Vampiro told us match 4 of the best of five was happening tonight between Cage and El Texano Jr. Striker said Cage blames Texano for his loss in the Battle of the Bulls (which is 100% accurate). Striker said one of the finalists was in the ring. It was Jeremiah Crane…
1. Jeremiah Crane vs. Mil Muertes (w/Catrina). Striker said at one point Mil Muertes was the most dominant person in Lucha Underground (Damn Striker! That was a bit of a burial on commentary. Some things you just don’t bring up). Crane tried to start the action with slaps to Mil’s chest. Mil just rushed back with a shoulder block. Mil played to the crowd with clotheslines in the corner. Crane was whipped corner to corner. Striker pointed out that every loss matters in Lucha Underground…
John’s Thoughts: Again, Striker! I’m pretty sure if Lucha Underground writers or editors heard this commentary they would edit it because it exposes some flaws in Lucha Underground’s booking. What’s funny is Striker is 100 percent right on both counts in talking about Mil no longer being dominant and losses mattering. The reason none of the new wrestlers in season 2 got over was because all they did was lose like a bunch of J-brones. Striker is right! Losses do matter, but this may be a flaw with a writing staff that is probably extremely used to parity booking from their WWE tenures. Remember, most of the writing staff is from mid-2000s Smackdown.
Crane ate a powerful powerslam from Mil when he tried to get a clothesline in. Striker pointed out that Vampiro was oddly quiet (which tells me Puma might get involved based on the opening cinematic). Mil went for the flatliner but Prince Puma ran in wearing black sweatpants and a black hoodie. Puma ran in with a kendo stick and hit Mil with it. The referee was distracted by Catrina. Crane hit the running boot and picked up the victory.
Jeremiah Crane defeated Mil Muertes via pinfall in 1:58.
Crane quickly ran out of the ring to make faces at Catrina. Puma went in the ring to beat on Mil with a kendo stick. Puma did his flip kick to the emblem. Rather than settle on the emblem he kneeled to Vampiro… [C]
John’s Thoughts: The developments are interesting here but overall there wasn’t a net gain. The only person who got some sort of slight development was Prince Puma who made a return via a run-in. Crane doesn’t gain anything because he won off the fluky finish. Mil continues to lose his mystique as a monster because he is really eating a bunch of loses to moves that didn’t dispatch him in the past. First he loses via a Sexy Star foot stomp. Now he loses to a Crane running boot? I know the kendo stick staggered him, but that’s all it did. I’m intrigued at the progression of Puma but I’m baffled as to why they are burying their most valuable overall wrestler in Mil Muertes. As Striker said loses matter, and the way you lose matters as well.
Sexy Star was approached by Ricky Mandel who was dressed up as a Johnny Mundo cosplayer. He gave Sexy Star a delivery that he found for her in catering. Mandel said it might be from a fan since he knows that sort of thing when he gives Mundo gifts. Sexy Star opened up the gift and it had that funny lame toy spider in it. This freaked out Sexy Star and she roared in anger…
Guitar music played as Texano was doing chest presses. Famous B came in and called him big and strong, but not famous. Famous said Texano is not connecting with the audience. Famous B said the fans cheer Cage over Texano. Texano threatened Famous B and said the fans do cheer him. Famous B said they do cheer but they don’t care about Texano. Famous B said it was an image problem that he wants to fix. Famous B said you don’t have to call him on the phone and he’ll offer his services to help him beat Cage in the match later. Texano threatened to kick Famous B’s ass. Famous B told Texano to just think about it…
John’s Thoughts: Wowzers? Is this Expose-Lucha-Underground-booking-flaws day? First they have Striker expose Mil Muertes as weaker on commentary and now they have Famous B flat out say that Texano’s lack of character development sucks? Odd…
Vampiro told Striker that his business with Puma is only between them. Striker moved on and talked about Johnny Mundo facing Mack in a match for the Lucha Underground Championship next week since Mack is the number one contender… [C]
Moore History Lessons: Random history lesson from AAA, Angelico and Jack Evans are actually former AAA Tag Team Champions and are a well-established team in Mexico. I was told their tag team name was something like “the flying white boys” or something like that.
2. Jack Evans and PJ Black vs. Son of Havoc and Angelico. Angelico started off against Jack Evans where they did some chain wrestling. Angelico maintained dominance in the wristlock. The former AAA Tag Champs then had a stalemate sequence showing off their agility. Jack Evans gave Angelico and said he loves Angelico for old times’ sake. Angelico turned it to a wristlock and they both got their tag partners in.
PJ Black managed to dominate and they isolated Son of havoc in their corner. Havoc managed to get a quick legsweep. Havoc made the hot tag and went to work on PJ Black. Black came back with a right hand which was responded by Angelico. Angelico did his caporieta on his fellow South African wrestler. Havoc hit both of the Underground guys with a springboard crossbody. Angelico tagged in and hit a modified Shining Wizard on Black. Angelico sold a leg injury.
Evans hit Havoc with a superkick. Striker clarified that it was actually a dislocated elbow for Angelico. Jack Evans hit a second rope Phoenix Splash on Son of Havoc to pick up the victory.
The Worldwide Underground defeated Team Havoc via pinfall in 5:48.
Cut to a backstage cinematic where Dario Cueto was looking into his soul box. Sexy Star barged in to the office mad. Sexy Star yelled that she wanted Mariposa in the ring because she assumes Mariposa put the spider in the box. Dario said next week Mariposa was all her’s. Sexy Star left and Dario Cueto went back into his magical box…
John’s Thoughts: A good match that might have ended prematurely. I only say that because the ending was really awkward. First of all that springboard roundhouse didn’t look right. Also, Angelico is extremely injury prone and it would suck if he were injured yet again! Tough luck if that’s the case because he’s one of Lucha Underground’s most exciting wrestlers to watch.
3. “They Call Him” Cage vs. El Texano Jr. in a best of five series match (Cage leads 2-1). Striker pointed out how disappointing it was that Texano won his only match via a rollup. Vampiro called out Striker for defending fluky or dirty wins in the past. Texano hit a spinning wheel kick on Cage. He also hit a basement clothesline after a backbreaker. Texano worked on Cage in the corner. Cage escaped and hit a kick combination on Texano. Cage followed up with a T-Bone Suplex.
Texano went for the rollup but to no avail. Texano tripped Cage onto an exposed turnbuckle. Cage bladed. Texano hit Cage with a superkick. Texano hit the sitout powerbomb for the quick win.
El Texano Jr defeated Cage via pinfall in 2:15 to tie the series up 2-2.
Texano put the bull rope on his neck and celebrated. Dario Cueto walked out and said that both of these guys must want the Ultimate Opportunity. He said he can’t blame them because it is really freakin’ awesome. Dario said he can’t wait to see who wins so we’re going to have match 5 tonight… [C]
John’s Thoughts: I guess they didn’t want to stretch this out one more week and got impatient (maybe in regards to some of the things Famous B pointed out about Texano). What we just saw was equivalent to an early pinfall win in an ironman match. Of course since it’s pro wrestling, we’re got all five matches in the best of five.
4. Cage vs. El Texano Jr. in a best of five series match (Series Tied 2-2). Dario Cueto said this was a no-DQ match. Texano cornered Cage and sucked some blood from Cage. Texano also wiped the blood on his chest too. Vampiro started to go into the history of El Texano Sr. Cage fought back with some right hands. Cage blocked a kick and hit a DDT on Texano. Cage fought from out of the corner but was staggered with a kick. Texano bit the forehead of Cage. Texano hit Cage with a springboard senton.
Cage blocked a powerbomb and hit a basement dropkick on Texano. Cage sidestepped Texano to the outside and hit him with a Tope Con Hilo. Cage struggled to stay on two feet as he fought Texano on the outside. Cage dragged Texano up the steps halfway to the bleachers. Cage hit a Suplex on Texano on those bleachers. Texano recovered as Cage played to the crowd and hit him with a spinebuster.
Texano hit Cage with a whip onto the ringpost. Texano fought Cage to the audience balcony area. Cage took advantage of Texano playing to the crowd by hitting him with a Superkick. Cage went for a suplex but instead was tripped off the balcony to the floor. Texano hit a crossbody from that balcony. Texano threw Cage into the wooden chairs. Texano then hit Cage with an (unprotected) chairshot to the head. ugh.
Texano then whipped Cage with the safest ropeshots in the world. Texano picked up the nearfall in the middle of the ring. Cage was planted with a spinebuster to the steelchair. Texano missed the senton by hitting only chair. Cage then hit Texano with a (slightly less dangerous, but still bad) chairshot to the head. Cage got hit own nearfall off of that. Cue the obligatory “This is awesome” chant. Texano reversed the discus clothesline into the crossface. Cage rolled into a pin attempt which caused Texano to break the hold.
Cage hit Texano with the discus clothesline to earn himself a nearfall. Cage used the rope to hit Texano this time. Cage hit a modified Michinoku Driver on Texano to earn the victory via the pin.
Cage defeated El Texano Jr via pinfall in 13:40 to earn Dario Cueto’s “Ultimate Opportunity”.
Cage roared after taking the straps down and playing to the crowd again. Dario Cueto walked out and congratulated Cage. Dario said the prize was so great and so powerful that he doesn’t want to give it to Cage in front of the believers since they are weak-minded. Cage was a bit apprehensive but then walked to the office. Matt Striker hyped next week’s world title main event between Mundo and Cage as he closed the show…
But wait? There’s more! Dario showed Cage the box. Cage asked “what the hell is that?”. Dario said it was cool. Dario said this gauntlet has powers beyond Cage’s imagination. Cage laughed it off and said he’s not a renaissance fair kind of guy. Dario said Cage should at least try the gauntlet on. Cage put on the metal glove which electrified like Dr. Doom. Cage choked Dario and said he was going to keep it. Cage thanked Dario and walked out with his new prize…
John’s Thoughts: Even though they essentially skipped match number 4, match 5 was really good sans the unprotected chairshots to the head. Those suck and they don’t need to use the chairshots to tell a good story. Another thing that’s a bit lame is Texano’s rope shots. Those things look the opposite of painful since he obviously is only hitting the ring, but by several feet. That said, it was compelling enough for the main event slot.
One huge positive this season is the storyline progression and we got some continual progression tonight. First we got a new “Dark” Prince Puma. We also got Cage winning a magical glove from Dario Cueto. Now I wonder if he will now become possessed by the Lucha Soul of the released MVP. I’ll have more to say in my Audio Review of the show for members.